#KobeWeek // Original Black / Yellow adidas The Kobe Two PE

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words & images // Nick DePaula:

Following up on the initial Audi-designed The Kobe, in 2001, adidas and Kobe Bryant released what has long been considered one of the most polarizing designs in footwear history.

The Kobe Two was certainly a love it or hate it sneaker. Much of that can be credited to the fact that it hardly resembled a traditional “sneaker” form, shape or proportions. Those that loved it, loved Kobe.

There was a fully enclosed lace cover, carrying out the original vision for the first model that was eventually scrapped. The outsole and perimeter of the shoe teetered easily, making for a seemingly unstable stance in a bulky, clunky molded silhouette. And while the car inspiration still remained, it wasn’t as fast, sleek or streamlined as the debut The Kobe.

This was also before footwear veered towards lighter solutions, clearly, but even then, The Kobe Two was a literal brick. It was often even referred to as simply “The Toaster.”

While Kobe himself wore a home, away, All-Star and special edition “American Flag” colorway of The Kobe Two during the 2001-2002 season, by the time the playoffs came around that spring, he had ditched the shoe in favor of the prior edition.

Had he worn The Two into that year’s 3rd consecutive championship run, he would’ve been wearing this Black / Yellow PE version, seen below in detail in his exact size 14. As we all know, he simply never wore adidas again, and later broke his contract with The Three Stripes during the summer of 2002 to eventually become a sneaker free agent. 

Check out this rare player exclusive colorway of The Kobe Two below, featuring the infamous “Frobe” logo along the heel counter, and stay tuned for more #KobeWeek features ahead.

Stay tuned for an exclusive look at Kobe’s unreleased third adidas The Kobe sneaker tomorrow.

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